Vietnamese are fond of game birds, especially
in the north where there is not as great a variety of food as
in the south. The use of chili peppers is the legacy of Portuguese
visitors who arrived as early as the sixteenth century.
Hot and Spicy Quail
(Chim Cut Ro-Ti)
4 dressed quail
4 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed or 1 tablespoon garlic puree
4 spring onions, chopped
1-l/2 inch of lemon grass root, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nouc mam)
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
- Split quail down the bony side and flatten
to get a broad breast. Score breast with deep cuts.
- Make the marinade by heating vegetable
oil in a skillet and frying garlic, onions, and lemon grass for
a few minutes. Add chili powder, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and
water and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove and cool.
- Marinate quail and chill for two hours.
- Heat broiler or barbecue and broil for
15 minutes on each side, basting frequently with sesame oil and
marinade, until bird is crisp, aromatic and sizzling. Serve with
a good squeeze of lime juice over quail.
Makes 4 servings.
Cook's Note: If you don't have a broiler,
roast quail in a hot oven for 30 minutes, turning once and basting